Short Biography of George Washington
Known to have chopped down his father’s cherry tree, as legend would have it, George Washington would become the United States’ first president. Serving two terms as president from 1789 until 1797, he managed the United States with energetic, organized, and efficient candor. Washington refused serving a third term in office, even though he had unanimously been voted by the electoral college his last two terms, believing that no president should serve more than two terms lest he be looked upon as a king.
Born just off the Potomac River in Popes Creek Plantation, Washington grew up privileged, but not of the upper class. Through the death of his father when he was eleven, and by inheriting more land, Washington would devote most of his earnings into the purchasing of more land, which eventually made him a wealthy tobacco farmer.
Martha Dandridge Custis would become Washington’s wife and they would raise four children together, none being their own. With the agreement of marriage, Washington was given Custis’ dowry of a prominent amount of land, thereby ensuring his rank as an aristocrat landowner. Even though Washington enjoyed the posh lifestyle during this time, he would go on to lead one of the most important battles in the United States.
George Washington had great military prowess that the young American nation needed. He was to become the commander-in-chief of the armed forces in America’s War of Independence. Earlier in his life, he had commanded battles in the French and Indian War, which had given him uncanny military know-how, even when the odds were against him. He alone was responsible for holding all parties together throughout the war, signing treaties, making allies, and keeping communication open.
Washington was able to drive the British out of Boston – an amazing feat that brought the southern and northern 13-colony forces even closer together as they fought for one cause. He was defeated in New York in the Battle of Long Island. After several deafening losses, Washington staged a secret attack on Trenton and Princeton, where he defeated the British again, solidifying his place as one of history’s greatest military commanders.
During the war, Washington inoculated his troops to smallpox, which eventually made them immune. With the upper hand in fighting a prevalent disease of the time, Washington’s troops were able to fight as the disease spread through other infantries. It was his direct leadership, along with the aid of the French, which led to the Treaty of Paris giving independence to the United States.